Anthony Martial on the Verge of Agreeing New 5-Year Contract With Manchester United

Anthony Martial is reportedly close to agreeing a new contract with Manchester United after a breakthrough in talks.

The France international had rejected an offer from the Red Devils last October, with former United boss Jose Mourinho using the 23-year-old sparingly.

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However under new manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, ​Martial, like his teammates, has enjoyed an upturn in form, and has now scored eight times in his 17 ​Premier League appearances this season.

Now, ​Sky Sports News report that after activating a year-long extension clause in the striker’s current contract to keep him at Old Trafford until 2020, Solskjaer’s side are now on the verge of agreeing a new five-year deal.

RMC journalist Mohamed Bouhafsi further ​added that there is a ‘general agreement’ between the two parties over extending Martial’s contract, with the Frenchman’s agent Philippe Lamboley confirming that only ‘some details need to be finalised’. 

Speaking to Norway’s ​TV2 earlier this week, the ​United forward spoke glowingly of Solskjaer’s influence on him in recent weeks and revealed that the Norwegian had given him the freedom to express himself on the pitch.

Martial said: “It is great for me to work with a manager who was attacking even when he was playing, just like me. He comes with good advice, especially suggestions for positioning in front of goal and the actual finishing. There, he helped me a lot.

Anthony Martial,Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

“The best advice I have received from him until now is that I have to play to my strengths. Don’t put pressure on myself. He says I have to express myself on the pitch. It is very nice to be able to get such advice from Solskjaer.

“He can be quite strict with those who have earned it. A good manager must have a bit of both, he must be strict with the players, but also create joy and a good mood.”

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Manchester United Renew Contract Talks With Juan Mata as Summer Deadline Looms

​Juan Mata is set to hold ‘last ditch’ talks with Manchester United over extending his contract before it expires at the end of the season.

Now that he is into the last six months of his contract, Mata is free to sign a pre-contract agreement with another club. Juventus and his former side Valencia have both been linked with a free transfer for the Spaniard.

However, ​Mata is comfortable in Manchester and would like to sign a new contract, but ​United want to reduce his wage packet, which currently earns him £170,000 a week.

Juan Mata

​The Sun claims to be have been told by an inside source that Mata’s father, who is also his agent, will fly over from Spain in the next 48 hours for urgent talks.

“His agent is expected to come over with his future still very much up in the air,” said the so-called source.

“Mata has made no secret he wants to stay here. The club have dragged their heels over the extension though.

“The goalposts have been moved in recent days. The new boss is a huge fan of his and thinks he has more to offer.

“The wages might be an issue and he might have to take a reduction but the news is positive all round.”

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Mata has featured in just two of United’s five Premier League matches since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over at Old Trafford, but Solskjaer would like to keep the 30-year-old around for the considerable experience and maturity that he offers.

He was one of the few players who did not allow his performance levels to dip during the latter days of Jose Mourinho’s reign, always giving his all for the cause.

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Picking the Best Potential Man Utd Lineup to Face Brighton in the Premier League on Saturday

In-form Manchester United welcome Chris Hughton’s Brighton to Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon, as the hosts look to make it seven wins in a row and overtake Arsenal in the race for the top four.

After Ole Gunnar Solskjær revealed Alexis Sanchez’s return to training, the Chilean could be included in the matchday squad on Saturday, but Chris Smalling is likely to miss out once again as he continues his recovery from a long-term foot injury.

Here’s a look at how they could look for Saturday’s clash.

3. Goalkeeper and Defenders

David De Gea

David de Gea (GK) – The Spaniard put on a show for the travelling United fans last time out as his heroics between the posts kept Tottenham at bay and secured a sixth straight win under Solskjær.

Ashley Young (RB) – Changes from the team that beat Tottenham aren’t expected, so Young should retain his spot on the right.

Phil Jones (CB) – Jones has appeared in every game of Solskjær’s brief United tenure and is set to feature again against Brighton.

Victor Lindelöf (CB) – The 24-year-old has missed just four Premier League games this term and appears to be affirming his place at the heart of United’s defence.

Luke Shaw (LB) – Shaw has not missed a minute of Premier League football since Solskjær took the reigns at Old Trafford and the 23-year-old will look to help notch United’s third consecutive clean sheet for the first time this season.

2. Midfielders

Paul Pogba,Ander Herrera

Paul Pogba (CM) – The World Cup winner has enjoyed an upturn in form since Solskjær’s introduction and he will be eager to extend that run on Saturday.

Ander Herrera (CM) – Herrera has been a crucial cog in United’s midfield this season, having scored two goals and assisted three more, and the Spaniard be full of confidence after a dominant performance against Spurs last time out.

Nemanja Matic (CM) – The Serbian midfielder has missed just three Premier League games all season long and has made more passes than any other United player in this campaign.

1. Forwards

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United - Premier League

Jesse Lingard (RW) – Lingard has notched four times in his 18 Premier League appearances this term and has contributed to six goals in his last eight league matches.

Marcus Rashford (ST) – United’s run of form has coincided with a purple patch for Rashford, who has scored five goals in his last seven league games.

Anthony Martial (LW) – The Frenchman is United’s joint top scorer in the league along with Romelu Lukaku with the pair both on eight for the season.

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Manchester United vs Brighton Preview: Where to Watch, Live Stream, Kick Off Time, Team News & More

Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s in-form Manchester United side host Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday, as they look for their sixth consecutive win in the Premier League.

United are in the best of form they’ve been in for some time, with Solskjær having had a greater impact on the team’s fortunes than many initially expected. The Red Devils finest result under the new boss was also their most recent, as they won 0-1 away to Tottenham.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer,Jesse Lingard

​Brighton, who are 13th in the Premier League, travel to Old Trafford to face a very different United side to the one they beat 3-2 earlier in the season.

The negativity surrounding ​United under previous manager Jose Mourinho has vanished since then and the performances have significantly improved. Had this game been scheduled a month earlier, Chris Hughton might have fancied his chances, but escaping from Old Trafford with even a point this weekend seems a big ask for the Seagulls, who have won just one of their last seven in the league.

Here’s everything you need to know about this one.


Where to Watch

When Is Kick Off? Saturday 19 January
What Time Is Kick Off? 15:00 (GMT)
Where Is It Played? Old Trafford
Referee? Paul Tierney

Team News

Solskjær announced that ​Alexis Sánchez could be involved following a return to training this week. Sánchez was unavailable for the Spurs game due to the injury picked up in the FA Cup against ​Reading.

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Chris Smalling is also a doubt for Saturday’s game with a foot injury that has kept him out of action since early December.

​Marcos Rojo recently travelled back to Argentina to concentrate on recovering from his injury that has also resulted in him being unavailable for over a month and it is expected he will be out for more time.

For the visitors, José Izquierdo has had problems with a knee injury throughout this season and is expected to be unavailable for the trip to Old Trafford.

Bernardo has missed Brighton’s last two games and is a major doubt to make a return to the squad here.


Predicted Lineups

Manchester United De Gea; Dalot, Lindelöf, Jones, Shaw; Matic, Hererra, Pogba; Lingard, Rashford, Martial.
Brighton Button; Montoya, Dunk, Duffy, Bong; Stephens, Groß, Pröpper; March, Locadia, Murray.

Head to Head Record

​Of a total 20 games between the two clubs, Manchester United have won 12. Brighton have won three, two of which came in 2018, while there have been five draws.


Recent Form

​It’s no secret that United are in terrific form and look a completely different side under caretaker manager Solskjær. Six wins in all competitions with 17 goals scored underline the impact the Norwegian has had. United have also kept a clean sheet in each of their last three games.

Brighton may only have won once in their last seven Premier League outings – and just twice away from home all season – but still look highly unlikely to get drawn into a relegation dog fight.

Despite losing 1-0 at the Amex last time out against high-flying ​Liverpool, recent draws away to ​Arsenal and ​West Ham, in addition to a big win at home to ​Everton see them sit eight points above the danger zone.

Dale Stephens

Recent form in all competitions:

Manchester United Brighton
Tottenham 0-1 Manchester United (13/1) Brighton 0-1 Liverpool (12/1)
Manchester United 2-0 Reading (5/1) Bournemouth 1-3 Brighton (5/1)
Newcastle 0-2 Manchester United (2/1) West Ham 2-2 Brighton (2/1)
Manchester United 4-1 Bournemouth (30/12) Brighton 1-0 Everton (29/12)
Manchester United 3-1 Huddersfield (26/12) Brighton 1-1 Arsenal (26/12)

Prediction

Manchester United are heavy favourites to beat Brighton and many will expect to see them do so in convincing fashion. While players such as ​Paul Pogba and ​Marcus Rashford are getting plaudits, the whole team has shown such an improvement in recent weeks.

Paul Pogba,Ashley Young

Brighton will put up a big fight to get a result at Old Trafford, but may find it difficult with United scoring 13 goals in their last four games at the Theatre of Dreams.

Prediction: Manchester United 3-1 Brighton

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Antonio Valencia Intent on Finishing Career With Manchester United Amid Exit Talk

​Manchester United captain Antonio Valencia reportedly intends to see out the remainder of his contract with the club, with a view to finishing his career at the Red Devils, despite falling down the pecking order under caretaker boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Valencia finds himself as third choice in his favoured right-back position, behind Ashley Young and Diogo Dalot, and has started just one of Solskjaer’s six matches in charge. 

Valencia v Manchester United - UEFA Champions League Group H

With his contract expiring in the summer and his first team status only dwindling further, reports had been rife that he could jump ship prematurely with a January move, but ​The Times say this will not be the case. 

The 33-year-old is thought to have informed the club via his representatives that he has no plans to leave early, and wants to earn a new deal and finish his career at the club.

Whether or not ​United are on board with that idea remains to be seen, however, as they are likely to appoint a new management regime in the summer and have a number of tough decisions to make with regards to the playing squad. 

Also out of contract are ​Valencia’s positional counterparts Ashley Young and Matteo Darmian, so it seems likely one of the three will be kept around. 

Matteo Darmian,Roberto Firmino

​Inter are among several clubs thought to have a keen interest in the right-back, who has made over 300 appearances for United since joining from Wigan in 2009, so he is not likely to have too many issues finding a new employer should Old Trafford chiefs decide against keeping him on.

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